Wil’s Dad Behavior

Why is Wil’s Dad Behavior still a thing?

If you happen to stumble across this site or have somehow figured out how to be notified when posts are made, you are viewing rare content. Anyone that knows me well at all has already realized that this site is mainly going unused.

Each year, I pay GoDaddy a little bit to keep this site and domain name alive, despite extremely limited use. So why would I throw away this (tax deductable) money? Thanks for asking. Moreover, thanks for even being here.

This site is special to me. It has never been much more than a place for me to practice my craft throughout its existence. That was its peak. Other than that, it has been a place for me to stick some nerdy musings and interesting life happenings. If nothing else, a place to practice putting thoughts into text in sporadic intervals.

As a stay-at-home dad and freelance writer, I do not have the most substantial resume. My last post (earlier this year) highlights what I have been working on and provides hyperlinks to all of my work, acting as a living resume of sorts. Having such a place to post my job seems important for the nature of my work.

So, the site lives on. I apologize for anyone seeking dad tips or stories about interesting career experiences, but at this point, for lack of better writer-produced words, it is what it is.

I am fortunate to say that fatherhood is going well, and my work is consistent and sufficient for the time being. However, as the latter situation can fluctuate, I may post again here someday with an update.

Until that time, just know that no news is good news. Thank you for checking in!

Writing experience

A few of the ways my writing has gotten betterer.

This is not to toot my own horn, though I am always looking for reasons to write out the word “toot.” This piece is just to highlight, if not only just for myself, some of the ways my writing has improved along my journey and some of the people who have helped along the way.

When I look back at some of the earliest pieces I have written online, I cringe a bit. To me, this is a great thing, as it shows that I have improved in just a few short years.

IN THE BEGINNING, I started this blog and decided I needed to read more. Those two things allowed me to set up the starting blocks needed to begin the road to writing. I have wound up reading mostly sci-fi, which I do not write at all, but it still allows me to see what good writing should look like.

As for this blog, it has allowed for practice and repetition, though it clearly does not see heavy use at this stage.

It is difficult to get paid for writing online at the start. All the freelance books and sites say so and I can confirm this. I submitted five pieces to a site called Grown Gaming that John Santina was kind enough to allow on his page. This was my first experience having correspondence with someone who was actually willing to host my work.

My interest in writing about NBA hoops led me to another for-free writing gig for the Fansided page, Thunderous Intentions. At TI, I worked closely with Site Editor, Tamberlyn Richardson. She and the Fansided brand taught me a ton about SEO and keywords. I wrote for the site for a year before finally being able to dedicate my writing time to paying gigs.

My basketball writing and connections paid off when Robert Yanders of The Basketball Movement approached me to write for him and control his site’s blog. The relationship quickly grew, as I took the reigns of Twitter and Facebook and began writing for and controlling the social media of his other business – Yanders Law Basketball as well.

Working with Rob has helped me hone my skills writing to suit a brand. He does not want cheesy (something I sometimes use as a crutch), but intense and concise. I also gained email marketing experience working with Rob on top of everything else.

Once that partnership grew, I was able to stop working full-time at the bank by cutting out daycare costs and becoming a stay-at-home dad and professional freelance writer and social media manager. Since then, I have been able to stop supplementing with things like Uber by writing for other companies as well.

Michelle Cramer reached out to me on LinkedIn with an offer to be a freelancer for PoolPro and SpaRetailer Magazines. Michelle is an editor for both publications. Through her guidance, I have learned a great deal about writing in AP style, which is a valuable skill for a freelance writer.

In 2019 I was contacted by Shanda Trautman of Old Missouri Bank to provide copy for a special project they had going for a few months. More recently, I ran all of the bank’s social media pages from September 2020 through February 2021 as they did some rearranging and strengthening of their marketing department.

Shanda has been another great teacher, as she emphasizes the importance of consistency, brand, and tone as it relates to each individual social platform. I am excited for more collaborations with OMB in the future.

Being a S.A.H.D. with two boys is certainly my main gig. About 16 hours each day actually (with more than a little help in the evenings). I do my best to write way too early in the morning or in the glorious moments of coinciding naps.

As a freelance writer, big projects come and go while my steady work currently stays at a manageable level. I am still so pleased with all the decisions that led me down this path and I am excited to continue to grow as a writer and as a parent through it all. Thanks for reading!

PoolPro and SpaRetailer

PoolPro and SpaRetailer magazines have been using the services of yours truly!

PoolPro and SpaRetailer are print and online magazines marketed towards pool professionals and spa retailers, respectively. I have been fortunate enough to be commissioned as a freelancer to write several pieces for each.

At the time of this post, three of my articles have been published with a few more waiting in the wing. Check the below link to see the published articles:

https://poolpromag.com/author/wil-harrington/

https://sparetailer.com/author/wil-harrington/

As you can imagine, I do not necessarily know that much about pools or spas. That said, the articles lean heavily on interviews that I conduct with business owners and professionals, so most of the work happens through those interviews by phone or email and making sure I am asking the right questions.

The writing is strictly AP style, which has been excellent for me in terms of gaining experience with professional, reporting-type work. I have also made some good contacts through these assignments.

The content linked above is not necessarily for everyone, but I just wanted to show off some interesting new experience in my portfolio that shows I can do more than sports writing or lighthearted blogging.

My personal blog continues to be a bit stagnant, but thank you for checking in! Also, if you or anyone you know needs some professional writing done, you know who to contact. Thank you!

Need blog or social media posts for your site? Willing to hire a handsome stranger?

If you or someone you know is in need of concise, engaging content, look no further! (Well, keep reading at least)

This site has been a fun way for me to practice writing while establishing myself as a freelance writer. Through added experience with Grown Gaming and Thunderous Intentions, my practice and growth have paid off. I have now gained footing as a freelancer and social media manager.

Propelled by my passion for sports, I have been able to grow in the world of online content creation through The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law. I have authored over 200 blog posts, taken the reigns of Facebook and Twitter for both organizations, interviewed athletes from local schools to the pro level, and sprinkled in some email marketing as well.

As much as I love basketball and sports in general, it should also be noted that I do not intend to limit myself to this lane of content creation.

But enough about me!

Actually, wait a second… Here is a bit more about me.

My degree in general business and background in financial analysis aid in my ability to write for organizations or brands in any field. I would love to provide a sample blog or social media posts to demonstrate the positive light I can shine on your business or brand!

Being a remote independent contractor, I can work with anyone. I still love that the organizations I currently work with are native to Southwest Missouri. I have a community-centered mentality in all of my work. Whether online-only or locally, I enjoy building relationships with clients from all walks of life.

My work is primarily conducted remotely, though I can be available to travel for interviews, events, or anything else you would like me to write about. I think you will find me wildly pleasant in person. Fingers crossed.

If you or someone you know has a business of any size that could use a more engaging website or dynamic social presence, email me at 237wil@wilharrington.com and we can discuss the benefits I could provide.

Side hustling my way to stay-at-home parenthood

After a couple years’ worth of grinding, I am finally able to stay home with my son full-time.

Many people know my Father to be an excellent banker. He started his own bank and has grown it in impressive fashion. It was because of him that I wanted to give banking an honest shot.

Though I admire my Dad’s success and passion for his career, that wasn’t enough to inspire me to follow the same path. What has always truly inspired me is the relationship I have with him. I knew that if nothing else, I wanted to be a dad so that I could always cherish an incredible bond like the one I have with my Father.

That was a path I could follow. That was an example I could mold myself after.

Though my son, Luke is only eight months old, I have been working towards staying home with him for almost two years now. The journey really began a couple of years ago while I was with my wife at a business conference in Atlanta. She was attending workshops and seminars while I just read in the hotel room, close coffee shops, or parks.

It was in those parks that I learned not to open my wallet in front of people asking for money. Sometimes you don’t have small bills and will wind up being more generous than you mean to be. Completely unrelated, but a good lesson.

Anyway, my wife, Emily is pretty easily inspired and is always setting new goals for herself, so she was eating up this conference. She was thrilled to be soaking up new info that will be helping her in the field that she enjoys. I was just happy to have an excuse to take a few days of vacation time away from spreadsheets and number crunching.

Leading up to the trip, we had been discussing my future on and off. I had plenty of reasons to get a business degree and give finance a shot, which I did. However, I was discovering that most positions in the financial world would not necessarily align with my strengths.

More creative avenues are unfortunately rare where I am. There aren’t many realistic options to make a living doing comedy, acting, entertaining, or whatever my skill set would lend itself to in Southwest Missouri. So, before the trip, we had discussed writing as a possibility.

I took a book with me (Halo: The Fall of Reach) on our Atlanta trip because I knew you are supposed to read constantly to improve as a writer. I hadn’t read a book since college, so I started with something easy to get into. So, I’d spend my day reading (often in apparently shady areas) and then the evenings discussing with my wife about everything she had learned that day.

Much of what she learned about was developing people and getting the most out of them by playing to their strengths and insulating areas that weren’t as strong. To explain everything, she used me as an example for most of what she was telling me, and we both quickly realized that it was time for a change.

I decided to pursue writing as my path to a more creative career. I knew the change would be a lengthy process, but though my job wasn’t for me, I was always surrounded by great people. I don’t regret my degree or time spent working in finance. I’ve had great experiences that will apply to everything I do with my life.

In becoming a writer, I finally had a goal. Knowing that my priority was to enter a flexible, creative space that would allow me to focus on my family was so refreshing. Even before I had a child, I knew I was on my way to something that suited me at last.

When we got back from our trip, I bought a book about freelance writing and started this blog to establish a portfolio. I was constantly searching around online to find writing gigs but had no luck. My lack of experience and a professional portfolio of work made it essentially impossible.

While filling this site in with occasional blog posts, I also attempted to increase my social media activity to grow my online presence (It wasn’t too hard – I was the kind of person whose only Facebook activity was making sure their profile picture changed every three years). I had a few articles that I donated to a gaming site and eventually started as a (volunteer) Contributor for a fan-powered NBA website. After a full year of unpaid labor, I called it quits on the for-free stuff, as it had gotten me noticed elsewhere.

I started writing blog posts for The Basketball Movement and actually making money! Apparently pleased with my work, the basketball facility’s founder asked me to write for his four-state AAU program as well. Now, in addition to the blogs, I have taken the reigns of their Facebook and Twitter pages, do basic website maintenance, and even some email marketing. Now, it pays for our mortgage each month.

Now armed with a solid portfolio, I am looking to expand my freelance writing work (post on that coming soon). I have been Ubering as well to fill the cracks and am finally confident in my ability to continue to provide for my family while keeping my son out of daycare.

I have plans for additional business ventures as well and am not going to stop working hard for the three of us. I am proud of what I have accomplished to this point and am also incredibly thankful for another large part of what we are doing: my wife.

With a kid as excellent as ours, you would have to be crazy to not want to be around him 24/7. Emily would like to stay home as much as I would, but we agreed that it makes more sense for us to do things this way. It is not easy and still not quite a social norm, but for her to be such a successful, hard-working woman while still balancing her roles as mother and wife is nothing short of spectacular. I have no doubt that working full time or not, she can continue to mother with the best of ’em. She has already proven that multiple times over.

There is still plenty of work to be done. We have been prepping for months but will need to continue to find ways to get by on a tighter budget. In the meantime, I will be seeking additional writing gigs, pursuing some remote business opportunities, and ride-sharing at night.

I am continuing to find my “voice” as it pertains to writing. I have been at it for a while, but am excited to continue to improve and allow my personality to come through in text. I managed to type all this without saying “butt” or “fart,” so I think I’m off to a good start.

Wait, do those count? Doesn’t matter. IN CONCLUSION:

This is a bit of a scary chapter in my story, but also the most exciting one yet. I like to think that it is big a win for our little family and I will do my best to make it last. Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for a post about the services I can offer soon!

Yanders Law

Great news! I am now the Blogger for Yanders Law – a 17 and under  AAU basketball program spread around the Midwest.

My work with The Basketball Movement as their blogger and occasional reporter/analyst has paid off nicely! Not only is it just fun to write about basketball, but I am now also doing similar stuff for Yanders Law, a grassroots basketball program for boys and girls from 17 down to 11 years old.

Aside from enjoying being around the sport of basketball, this is also another paying gig for me. Side-hustling is taking off and I am pretty excited!

Yanders Law has several boys and girls teams in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I am currently helping them to establish their new site as I learn more about their players and teams.

While I was here, I noticed that I did not create a post in November. While that is a bit sad, it is a good thing as well. Not only have I been busy getting paid to write, but I have also been spending every other bit of free time soaking up my family.

Luke is almost four months old now and couldn’t be better. We are afraid to ever have a second kid because he/she will likely be a disappointing handful after our current angel. That is probably a post for another day.

As always, thanks for your continued support! See you (hopefully) soon!

Returning to the grind

I have been back at work for a while now, but hey, I don’t post very often if you hadn’t noticed.

I am so, so sorry. You are my most loyal reader (yes you) and I have deprived you of new content for almost a month and a half. You may already know this, but time slips away like crazy in the early weeks of becoming a parent. Which day of the week it is, if it’s morning or evening, and how long it’s been since you’ve blogged all begins to blur.

I took off three full weeks following the birth of my nugget of a human. That figure seemed to really surprise some people, which is a shame. Babies obviously need their mothers for various reasons. However, bonding during the earliest stages seems just as important for the father as much as the mother in my opinion.

I understand that not all dads desire that much time either, and that is perfectly alright. There is no set way to bond with or care for your child. To me, three weeks went by in the blink of an eye (ironically, a blink of an eye is how much sleep I got for the first week or so too). Work is good and being paid is fun, but being home helping my wife and son made for some of the most fulfilling times of my life to date.

I joke about sleep, but honestly, Luke has been a great sleeper. Newborns have to be fed so often that the sleepless nights are not even their fault (most of the time). We have almost always had to wake him to eat, not the other way around. Now, he sleeps in large blocks at night and is even more generous to Mom and Dad – nice fellow.

From the start, I have gotten up every time he is up at night. This isn’t entirely necessary of course as again, it’s his Mom that he needs. I just want to help my wife for one, but also being there for my son as much as possible just. feels. good.

Emily is still home with him – she is taking 12 weeks off, though it is not all paid. She is pretty big on soaking up time with Mr. Handsome as well, so we are willing to take the hit to stretch this time as much as possible.

What I’m up to

Working, changing diapers, and checking my fantasy team are still the names of the game. This personal blog has obviously slowed down, but I haven’t missed a beat writing for The Basketball Movement multiple times per week. Tonight, I am interviewing some top high school talent for them at their invitational camp. My write-up on that and more: here.

The writing I do for other outlets such as Thunderous Intentions is on a volunteer basis, so I am still on an “OMG I have a baby” hiatus for the time being. I will likely start that back up when the season begins. I am still squeezing in Uber trips here and there as well, which you are sure to hear more about eventually.

Aside from all the working and portfolio building, I am pumped that the NFL and K.C. Chiefs are back. I am in two fantasy leagues. One is going well, and one is not. The one that is going well is made up of members of my wife’s family – it is hilarious. Emily is having the most enjoyable string of bad luck already and it is a beautiful disaster.

Thanks for reading and catching up on my life. It is cute that you care and I love you for it. I have also been stepping up my Twitter game recently, so remember to follow me over there. UNTIL NEXT TIME.